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The Scientologist who sold a hot dinosaur skull to Nicolas Cage

ChaitSkullCage

[Izzy Chait at LAX, the actual skull sold in 2007, and an actor out $276,000.]

By now you’ve probably heard the news that actor Nicolas Cage is giving back to the nation of Mongolia a stolen Tyrannosaurus bataar skull he bought at an auction in 2007. It’s the latest shoe to drop after a notorious broker, Eric Prokopi, pleaded guilty in 2012 to illegally importing fossils from Mongolia and China.

What you probably don’t know is that the guy who sold Cage the hot Prokopi skull was Isadore M. Chait, an OT 8 Scientologist who has participated in the church’s notorious “Fair Game” retaliation schemes. We have some fun video of Chait for you to consider in a moment. But besides being an ardent, high-ranking Scientologist, Izzy Chait is also a renowned Beverly Hills art dealer, specializing in Asian art, who several years ago also began carrying dinosaur fossils and other natural history items. (At his bio posted at his website, you can see what an impressive guy he is. Somehow, however, he left out of it that he’s a master of matter, energy, space, and time as a Scientology Operating Thetan Level Eight.)

About the sale of the skull, let’s establish some facts, because we’re seeing some bad information about it in news reports. The auction was held on March 25, 2007 and was Chait’s first ever held in New York City, simulcast to his gallery in Beverly Hills.

Here’s how Chait listed it:

AN EXTREMELY RARE TYRANNOSAURID SKULL: Tyrannosaurus bataar, Late Cretaceous (67 million years), Nemegt Formation, Central Asia. Tyrannosaurus bataar is the closest dinosaur relative to the North American King of Dinosaurs, Tyrannosaurus-rex though it thrived on the Eurasian Continent approximately 2 million years earlier. Many similarities exist between the two Tyrannosaurus’ species though Tyrannosaurus bataar was slightly smaller with shorter arms and a few minor differences in the skull. The present specimen is quite large for the species measuring 32 inches in length and has been professionally prepared in three-dimension with all of its natural matrix removed. It is approximately 65 percent complete with most of the restoration being on the back of the skull and the right mandible (lower jaw). The battery of huge, knife-like, serrated teeth are quite impressive and are in excellent condition, though some on the lower right jaw have been replaced. Overall, this remarkable specimen is scientifically accurate and important to our understanding of how tyrannosaurids lived. Estimate $140-180

That was a cute price estimate for the catalogue. Bidding actually started at $100,000.

Cage ended up battling with fellow actor Leonardo DiCaprio over the specimen before finally landing it at $276,000.

And note where Chait claimed the skull was from: “Central Asia.” As this lengthy profile of Prokopi by Paige Williams in the New Yorker explains, that’s how dealers often describe items from Mongolia and China, knowing that it’s illegal to sell fossils from those countries. But the Chait gallery clearly knew where it was actually from — the Nemegt Formation, which is in Mongolia.

Chait’s then-director of natural history sales, David Herskowitz, has admitted that the skull came from Prokopi. After Prokopi pleaded guilty to illegal importing, he was sentenced to three months in federal prison.

As a cute aside, the Williams profile of Prokopi says that the fossil hunter and his wife were so thrilled over the sale to Cage, their celebration that night resulted in, nine months later, a son.

So Cage is giving the skull back, and according to Reuters, Cage and Chait are not facing charges of any kind, even though, Reuters pointed out, Chait had previously purchased and sold a stolen Prokopi dinosaur skeleton.

What, a Scientologist involved in the buying and selling of stolen goods? Say it isn’t so. Scientologists claim to be the most ethical people on the planet.

Chait is also known for being one of the most loyal Scientologists in the Los Angeles area. And in 2011, he helped the church out with one of its operations to ambush Mark “Marty” Rathbun at the Los Angeles International Airport. (Yes, it’s happened more than once.)

At the time, Rathbun was visiting Los Angeles in June after he’d spent a couple of months being besieged in his south Texas home by a bizarre Scientology goon squad that called itself the “Squirrel Busters.” (For a great overview of Rathbun and the siege, we recommend the Channel 4 documentary “Scientologists at War.” And yes, we’re in it.) Rathbun had once been the second-highest ranking official in Scientology until his 2004 defection. He’d then disappeared before resurfacing in 2009 with a blog that was highly critical of Scientology leader David Miscavige. In retaliation, Scientology unleashed a classic “Fair Game” campaign — founder L. Ron Hubbard had declared in the 1960s that people perceived to be enemies of Scientology were fair game for harassment and worse. (In 2013, Rathbun’s wife, Monique, filed a lawsuit against the church for the harassment. It’s being held up by church appeals of a preliminary order.)

On June 3, 2011, right out of its decades-old playbook, Scientology sent an intimidation squad to ambush Rathbun at LAX, having figured out, with the use of private investigators, when he was flying back to Texas. The welcome committee who showed up to question and film Rathbun and his wife Monique included chief Scientology dirty tricks private eye Dave Lubow, Freedom magazine reporter Jim Lynch (now deceased), Squirrel Busters John Allender and Richard Hirst, and Izzy Chait and his wife Mary Ann. With the Rathbuns is former Scientologist Tiziano Lugli.

In the LAX confrontation, Chait confronts Rathbun about why he has gone “independent,” and has left the church.

“Why do you have to separate yourself out from it? Is that something LRH would want you to do?” he asks, referring to Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. He also tries to convince Rathbun that Scientology was expanding at its greatest rate ever. (All indications are that it is actually rapidly shrinking.) Take a look at Chait’s performance in this video that was shot by Rathbun.

 

 

Rathbun: Do you think this is really cool?

Chait: Who cares? Who cares, it’s all fucking bullshit. It’s all bullshit. The bottom line is just, where are you going? The church is expanding like crazy…

Rathbun: I’m going to Texas, as you all well know.

Chait: OK. What are you going to do there? [smiles]

Rathbun: Why do you care?

Chait: I always care. You used to be a close friend.

Rathbun: Yeah, I know. But you’re working for the devil now.

 
“You are gonna continue to carry fleas as long as you sleep with unkempt dogs,” Rathbun said to the Chaits in a blog post after the confrontation.

Would you buy a used dinosaur skull from this man?

 
——————–

Scientology’s 2015 in review: In February, a shocking case of mistreatment

MentalIllness

 
We’re continuing to look back at the stories that mattered most here at the Underground Bunker this year, remembering in this post what happened in February. And on the second day of that month, we hit you with a piece that still, for us, packs quite a wallop.

We had learned about a woman — we named her Candace for our story — who was rescued from an Arkansas basement, where she had been held for about a year. She was filthy, malnourished, and she was bleeding profusely in an apparent suicide attempt.

But the man who had held her there — with evidence that he’d kept her bound by the wrists — calmly explained to an attorney that what he was doing was standard Scientology treatment for the woman’s severe mental illness.

Before he had taken her to the Arkansas basement, the man had “cared” for Candace at a Scientology-style retreat in Tennessee that we had previously encountered in the story of Barbara Cordova Oliver (Barbara is doing better now, but we’ve been asked to hold back details for the time being).

The stories of Barbara and Candace are recent evidence that Scientologists continue to subject the mentally ill to L. Ron Hubbard’s completely unscientific theories about treatment, endangering people at the same time that Scientology demonizes the real help such people might receive from the medical community.

In April, we got an update on Candace from a family member, which we’re printing here for the first time. Candace was still deeply unwell and living at a state hospital, which the family member criticized — she hoped to get Candace moved to a private facility.

[Candace] told us today that after [Jim] took her to Arkansas from the Scientology center in Tennessee, he and his cousin tied her up, put duct tape over her mouth and put her in the bed of the truck. She said she thought she was going to be killed. Then she said the cousin had second thoughts. She also said [Jim] dragged her down the stairs to the basement by her hair and hit her in the face. She tried to escape several times — twice from Woodbury and at least two times from Arkansas. It’s horrible. She says God was with her through it, talking to her, helping her, telling them to stop. She said that [Jim] is Lucifer. She thinks her soul is in a Powerade bottle in [Jim]’s house. She told us today how [in Tennesssee] they made her sit for hours in an excruciating hot sauna.

We’ve asked the family member for another update, and we’ll let you know what she tells us.

Moving on in our review, we had fun on February 7 with a 1958 letter by L. Ron Hubbard brought to our attention by Lauren Wolf. In it, Hubbard proposed forming a university in Cuba for scientists who had been cast out during the McCarthyite pogroms. “The president of Cuba is being approached to set aside land, several people will provide funds. An international university could be built which has many sources of revenue and in which a scientist could spend more than half his time on pure research…” Hubbard wrote to one of the country’s top scientists. Hubbard didn’t mention, of course, that he’d done plenty of his own Red-baiting over the years, or that he hardly qualified as an outcast nuclear physicist, having failed the only course of “molecular and atomic physics” he had taken during his abortive semester and a half of college. Fun stuff.

On February 9, we revealed that Mark Ebner had done it again. Previously, he had stumbled across some discarded Scientology trophies thrown out by Gay Ribisi, of the famous Hollywood family. This time, he’d found another pile of trash — what was left behind after Clark Carr and Narconon International suddenly abandoned its Hollywood office. Bizarre!

The next day, we brought you the deposition of Mike Rinder, done for the Luis and Rocio Garcia federal fraud lawsuit. It was the first time Rinder, the former Scientology spokesman who defected in 2007, had been questioned under oath by a Scientology attorney. And it was dramatic.

On February 12, we fact-checked the interview Danny Masterson gave Paper magazine, and invited the actor to drop us a line so we could ask him some real questions.

A week later, we found out that HBO had moved the first airing of Going Clear to a Sunday night, the most coveted spot in American television. After the Sundance premiere, it was becoming obvious that this film was going to be a blockbuster.

And late in the month we had another great R.M. Seibert document find, as we revealed for the first time just what crappy grades L. Ron Hubbard got in high school!

 
A LOOK BACK AT FEBRUARY 2014: The Master actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died in New York, we wrote an essay complaining about the way the media talks about Scientology and celebrities, and we provided some context to the first official Scientology wedding in England.

A LOOK BACK AT FEBRUARY 2013: Jenna Miscavige Hill’s memoir, Beyond Belief, is published. Harlan Ellison helps us document a Hubbard legend. And former Narconon executive Eric Tenorio comes forward.

 
BEST OF 2015: Our personal picks for stories we’re most glad we got to write this year:

January: Being on the scene to write about the Going Clear Sundance premiere
February: A shocking tale of Scientology mistreatment of the mentally ill in Tennessee and Arkansas

 
——————–

BOOK NOTES
3D-Unbreakable

We didn’t get a chance to include photos in our book, so we’ve posted them at a dedicated page. Reader Sookie put together a complete index and we’re hosting it here on the website. Copies of the paperback version of ‘The Unbreakable Miss Lovely’ are on sale at Amazon. The Kindle edition is also available, and shipping instantly.

Our book tour is concluded for now. (But you can re-experience it through this nifty interactive map!) We’ll let you know about future appearances. Previous events: Santa Barbara (5/16), Hollywood (5/17), Orange County (5/17), San Diego (5/20), San Francisco (5/22), New York (6/11), Chicago (6/20), Toronto (6/22), Clearwater (6/28), Washington DC (7/12), Hartford (7/14), Denver (7/17), Dallas (7/20), Houston (7/22), San Antonio (7/24), Austin (7/25), Paris (7/29), London (8/4), Boston (8/24), Phoenix (9/15), Cleveland (9/23), Minneapolis (9/24), Portland (9/27), Seattle (9/28), Vancouver BC (9/29), Sydney (10/23), Melbourne (10/25), Adelaide (10/28), Perth (10/30)

 
——————–

Posted by Tony Ortega on December 22, 2015 at 07:00

E-mail your tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. Here at the Bunker we try to have a post up every morning at 7 AM Eastern (Noon GMT), and on some days we post an afternoon story at around 2 PM. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of LA attorney and former church member Vance Woodward

UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists

GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice

SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts

PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer
The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill
The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield

 

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  • Cars

    I find it strange that John Coale, a rich lawyer who tries to influence U.S. politics and is married to Greta Van Susteren, FOX News host, bothers to retweet Bodhi Elfman and Kirstie Alley’s inane tweets. John Coale is part of former Maryland Governor and current U.S. Presidential candidate Martin O’Malley’s inner circle. [See Tony’s 2015 and 2013 articles about Coale http://tonyortega.org/2015/05/27/john-coale-greta-van-susteren-and-the-miracle-of-scientology-drug-technology-a-meditation/ and http://tonyortega.org/2013/03/01/is-thelos-angeles-bicyclist-nearly-killed-in-hit-and-run-a-scientology-sea-org-worker/%5D

    Sure would like to get a better peek down this other scientology snake pit of politicians, behind the scenes power brokers like John Coale, OSA, CoS whales and their political contributions, and celebs.

    https://twitter.com/kirstiealley/status/677136099978977280

    https://twitter.com/bodhielfman/status/679317313619804161

    • flyonthewall

      He’s in with O’Malley!? LOL, I saw that clown the other night on the Democratic debates, he was such a flake.

      • Cars

        Yes. Tony wrote (first link I posted) he had been flying O’Malley in his own private plane.

        • flyonthewall

          bleh, well at least Coale knows how to pick a winner *eye roll*

          • Cars

            In wives, too. *eye roll*

            • Liberated

              Wonder if John and Greta practice scientology “marriage hats”? Remember it’s the only way to have a successful marriage.

      • Juicer77

        Be glad you didn’t have to live with him as Goobernor all these years. *rolls eyes*
        The only time we saw him in Baltimore was right after the Freddie Gray riots and he was presidential stumpin’. He’s a total chump.

    • jazzlover

      They’re all afraid to call one another out because they all suffer from the same cognitive dissonance.

      • Cars

        Oh I suspect it’s more than that. These players know exactly what they are doing. CoS has been safepointing and lobbying politicians, or at least trying to, for decades. We’d need to be able to follow the money leading up to these political campaigns. I’m sure it’s a tight web they weave amongst themselves and I’m sure there would be some unsavory dealings if the unbelly were exposed.

        But then again, maybe I’m wearing too much tinsel in my Xmas hat.

        • jazzlover

          What does retweeting Kirstie Alley’s and Bodhi Elfman’s ridiculous messages have to do with weaving webs of political deceit? Is there something I’m missing?

          • Glen

            Cars in o.p. mentioned that John Coale. who is deep web of politics, retweets Krustie and Body’s tweets.

            • jazzlover

              Yes, I know. I’m wondering how his being “political” relates to the retweeting of the apolitical rantings of a couple of lugnuts. All I said is that he probably does it because he thinks their messages align for the whole human rights for all nonsense that SciFi keeps spouting (ie., cognitive dissonance). It would be a huge stretch, btw, to call the Krustie message pictured above “political”.

            • Intergalactic Walrus

              Her anti-psych stand is political because the clams (CCRH) lobby and offer testimony regarding psych related issues and laws. Or at least they try to.

            • jazzlover

              I guess, but that’s only because the drug companies lobby the politicians. Medicine should not be political otherwise.

            • L. Wrong Hubturd

              Jazz, saw the Jaco Pastorius docu last night. Wow! Great film. Have you seen it yet?

            • jazzlover

              I haven’t yet. Glad you enjoyed it though 🙂 I assume you streamed it? Or did you get the hard copy?

            • L. Wrong Hubturd

              Hard copy. Had a viewing party with all of the best jazzers and bass players in town. It was blast.

            • jazzlover

              It must’ve been. So they all worship Jaco? 🙂 How was Flea in the film? I could always tell he was a follower.

            • L. Wrong Hubturd

              Flea was Flea. What else can you say about the guy?

            • jazzlover

              He’s a trip, that’s for sure. The guy can play the bass though 🙂 I was surprised to read that Geddy was in the film. I did not see that coming.

            • L. Wrong Hubturd

              It’s an interesting perspective to see Geddy talk about how Jaco inspires him, especially on instrumental songs. Then they play a clip of Leave That Thing Alone from the Time Machine tour. It made sense. Hard to believe Jaco ended up homeless and living in a city park before he died. So sad.

              There’s a whole second disc with outtakes and interview footage not used in the main film too. Very interesting stuff.

            • jazzlover

              I’m gonna have to get this soon. Thanks for the push 😉 When I was getting into jazz, one of the guys I was getting to know told me he used to see Jaco in the mid-80s plugging his bass into a lamp post at West 4th Street basketball park in Greenwich Village every morning still yelling “I’m the best f-ing bass player in the world”. The problem, I think, is that he went undiagnosed for bi-polar disorder for so long.

    • aquaclara

      Maryland. Scientology. That faux historic site deemed perfect for a Narconon site.

      • Cars

        Bingo! Hadn’t made the connection…

      • Naps4All

        Also the state where LRH was married, not once, but twice (with both of those marriages existing simultaneously for a while, although the 2nd one later slipped his memory).

        • Naps4All

          Maybe should mention that I am a Maryland native. Lived and worked in the DC area for many years. Witnessed the “snake pit of politicians” at work. Was not aware of CoS then, but shady-deals-among-strange-bedfellows was the usual currency of the place. Nothing going on there now to promote CoS would surprise me.

          • Juicer77

            Another Merliner! 🙂 How you doin’, hon? Jeet yet?

            • Naps4All

              I’m good, thanks. How ’bout yerself? Ain’t et yet. Crabcakes is in the freezer (extra Old Bay in the pantry). I hale from Easton (Talbot County). Folks had season tickets to the Balt’mer Colts for 22 years, so we crossed the Bay from time to time. I lived in Bethesda for a spell (expensive!) post-college (that was “Warshinin” College in Chestertown). Where are you from? Are you still in MD?

            • Juicer77

              I’m a native Bawlamoron. 🙂 Right now in the UK for a couple years (family/work related). I hear it’s almost warm enough for going downy ashun back home! Of course I packed lots of Old Bay. LOL

            • Naps4All

              Juicer, it was quite a big deal to get off the ‘Shore and visit the big city when I was a wee one. Later (college years) I had a boyfriend at Loyola and drove into Balt’mer almost every weekend. The Inner Harbor was newly vamped up and shiny then. We loved hanging out there. It’s been many years now since I’ve visited MD (last there in 2006, I think). I couldn’t recognize my hometown any more. But I will always love the Orioles, the only genuine crabcakes in the world, and Ocean City (Thrasher’s Fries — have you had??). And I have relatives who will put Old Bay on ANYTHING. Best wishes with your UK stay. I’ve only been once (well, England – mostly London and Oxford), and that was long ago. So I am envious. Happy Holidays!

            • Juicer77

              Thanks, you too! And yes, to the Thrasher’s fries 🙂

    • beauty for ashes

      Wait.. there is a grain of truth in Kirsties tweet. Since she isn’t specifically talking psych drugs only, I have to say side effects from a lot of drugs are downplayed. I do think people have a right to be better informed. So I get that. Wow that felt weird saying.

      • Cars

        Oh, I don’t disagree. And I’ve seen those pharmaceutical ads on U.S. television. They are surreal sometimes and some seem dangerously deceptive.

        • beauty for ashes

          **wipes sweat off brow** Thanks Cars, its strange when Kirstie says something that doesn’t make me go Huh?

      • Chee Chalker

        And Bodhi’s tweet was actually kind of funny……too bad

        • madame duran

          He got beat by a horse for “Husband of the Year”, no doubt.

    • PerpetualOutflow

      Agree–would be great to see more come out on the lobbying and other political activities and connections of the $cienos and the “work” of East Coast OSA and their celebrity helpers. Seems like most of the stories that have come out in recent years were all about the antics of operatives at Gold and/or Flag, but how far reaching and high up are their tentacles in the corridors of power and money in Washington and NY? Would be tempted to think there probably isn’t much there, but then two thoughts come to mind: 1) It’s always worse than you think; and 2) Three words from the distant past: Operation Snow White.

    • CLEARly pissed off

      I’m confused. Coale (Gretta’s husband) is a totally engrained democrat and yet Greta is on Fox?

      • Cars

        Apparently he’s backed candidates from both parties. This is from the original Washington Post article https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/hes-along-for-the-ride-with-martin-omalley/2015/04/12/fc70b548-d3ad-11e4-ab77-9646eea6a4c7_story.html Tony linked to in his May 2015 story about Coale.

        Since the mid-1990s, according to campaign finance records, Coale has donated more than $750,000 to political candidates and committees, most of them Democratic. But he has also palled around with Republican Sarah Palin. He attended Kim Kardashian’s wedding and represented Lisa Marie Presley in her divorce from Michael Jackson, back when Presley was affiliated with the Church of Scientology, where Coale and Van Susteren have been prominent members for years.

        Coale supported his friend John McCain, a Republican, in the 2008 presidential election. But during the primaries, he was a major booster of Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton, whom he also considers a friend.

        Coale was close enough to the Clintons that he spent at least part of the day of the crucial 2008 New Hampshire primary with them in their hotel suite. Siding with O’Malley this time — when Clinton is the overwhelming Democratic favorite — was a calculation based on personal ties.

        “I’m committed to Martin,” said Coale, who speaks bluntly and with a trace of the accent of his home town of Baltimore. “He’s the better friend. I’ve known him longer and better.”

        • CLEARly pissed off

          He (Coale) sounds very confused….Supports McCain, then switches to Hillary. This time around siding with O’Malley. At least he knows which cult he belongs to!
          Tony states he spent $750K to candidates and committees, most of them Democrats and then pals around with Pain. At least the 750K didn’t go to DM.

          • ReallyMGM

            The Coale/Susterns support the Billy Graham foundation big time. Dig into that rabbit hole.

          • Enturbulated Masterbator

            More evidence that in DC there is really just one party and it’s called career politician. My hope is that a DC-10 will come soon and take back all the thetans on Capitol Hill.

          • Juicer77

            He is willing to spread his influence (read: money) on several horses, I mean candidates!, at any time.

    • Chee Chalker

      @johnpcoale @diannemitchell @greta Dianne….surely u know that as scientologists, greta & John believe Jesus was an R-6 alien implant

      Maybe I’ll get banned as a Christmas gift!

    • JaxNGold

      I seriously can’t take much more of Kirstie’s tweets. She wants to talk about criminal?! Hey Kirstie, your cult is a vile, CRIMINAL organization with countless lawsuits pending. Deal with it, you hypocrite.

    • Due to the crazy vagaries of life, I realize that I’m just 2º of separation from Mr. Coale. The person who knows him directly is very old and I haven’t seen him since I was a child, so I doubt that I’d ever meet Coale, but if I did, I’d have to ask him in as non-confrontational way as possible, “what do you get from your participation in Scientology?” I think I know the answer, I just want to hear him spout the party line. I have to realize that the Venn diagram of cults crosses in several places directly over Mr. Coale; politics, law, Scientology, celebrity. Come to think of it, he never saw ’em coming for his wallet.

      • Cars

        If you ever got the chance to meet him, I’d love to be an observer to that conversation. I am quietly fascinated by that cross-pollination in his life. I just don’t get it. I would like to understand how that mashup occurred, who influences him now and, more importantly, who exactly is he influencing and for what purpose. I’m not sure why he intrigues me. I had never heard of him until Tony wrote a few articles about him. I guess it’s because he’s another one of those shadowy scientology figures that’s difficult to flesh out properly.

    • He always turns up in the strange places.

      Neverland Meets Graceland – Secret Weddings, Rollercoaster Romances, Lisa Marie Presley, Michael Jackson August 15, 1994, Tom Gliatto, People

    • scottmercer

      I’m not too worried because Martin O Malley has no chance of winning.

      • Juicer77

        Thank gawd.

  • KingofSweden

    Reading about all Nic Cage’s crazy expenditures is entertaining, but at least that’s money that never went to the support the Clampire! And his stuff is cooler than anything Miscavige has.

  • L. Wrong Hubturd

    Because it’s so cute:

    https://youtu.be/2hh9lWK-iwc

    • salin

      Very cute. But when watching, kept worrying about bunny in glass two (from the left).

    • TexasBroad

      I needed some cuteness tonight…this might take me through the week!

    • B4you

      This is not fair!

  • Naps4All

    Dear Bunker and Bunker-Loved-Ones, Happy, peaceful, (and optimistic?) holidays, whichever ones and however you may celebrate. A couple favorite carols for you:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwnpHZaxgZE

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h46231asrlc

  • salin

    Who needs a $250,000+ skull – just find that inspiration (skull) to the barrier moving music of the B52s – Rock Lobster; Don’t know if it was ground-changing on the coasts, but in pre MTV days, and pre internet days – it took a couple of years to take hold in the midwest; and it was very (in a music sense) ground changing – in the tail end of the disco era. Took til 1980, but then was a mainstay of big dorm parties at my midwestern college. For fun – I share: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4QSYx4wVQg

    • jazzlover

      You keep daring me to post more music. LOL. They were great. My cousin, who was a commercial photographer in NYC back in the day, became friends with them. He attended a wedding that one of them had in Athens, GA. This is one of my faves:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNwC0sp-uA4

      • salin

        These days in the evenings, faced with more quiet – and changes in life, I find myself thinking about memories/music of more carefree times. And with my shares, you come back with either good memory songs (like this), or music that is new to me. It’s all good.

        I have no idea if there was a real influence, but I have always felt like the B52s – with their energy, and daring music (at the time) on one of my all time favorite bands of my young adulthood: REM. Glad to share these memories with you tonight.

        Cool experience/memory for your cousin.

        • jazzlover

          Very nicely stated. Thank you. Music is a great healer. That’s the only reason I can use to explain why I’m such a nut about it. I’ve been like a sponge –that’s why I have can pass on so much. My cousin was part of the “party hardy” contingent back then, and as a result met many musicians back in the 80s. He even worked on an album cover or two. I’m sure, btw, that Stipe and the boys crossed paths with the B-52s since they were, for the most part (I think Kate Pierson was from NJ) from the same place. Here’s another that was big when I was in college in the early 80s::

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fnXpuCJldI

          • salin

            Another new to me video. But again ground breaking – not just punk (which didn’t much cross into the mainstream), and pre “new wave” (later “progressive music”). Love the B52S.

            Don’t know if you appreciate the cutting lyricism of Elvis Costello – but if you do, we need to reserve an evening in the near future sharing some of those. Some of his social commentary (direct or indirect), imho, is classic. But for another night.

            • jazzlover

              I do appreciate him, and yes, that’s a good idea. I remember when he broke on the scene. He played “Watching the Detectives” on SNL in the 70s. He was spasming out with bug eyes, and I remember thinking “wow, this guy’s a little weird”. LOL. Now he’s all mainstream married to Diane Krall and all 😉 If you haven’t seen it, he did do a pretty funny guest spot on Frasier during one of the later seasons, I think. You can probably find it on YouTube.

        • aquaclara

          Sorry for the “more” quiet. If you find it too quiet, let us know and we’ll turn up the sound here!

          And truly….stop by the local library when you’re bored. CDs, DVDs, books….they are all there. Come home and blast the music. And then share with us, so we can join you!

          Hugs to you. Changes can be tough. We’re here with you.

          • salin

            aquaclara, thank you so much. The UB has been so embracing and compassionate as I walk though my grief, I am humbled. I have been given insights and wisdom that are very insightful.

            Love the library advice – and the sharing of the blasting of it – and the idea that this virtual community joining me. Gives me big smiles. Thanks ((hugs))

            • aquaclara

              😉
              We’re here!

            • ReallyMGM

              Salin, I have found my Apple Music has recommended some incredible singer/songwriters I didn’t lister to, just because of what I had listed. Because of R.E.M., Elvis Costello, and Big Star, Alex Chilton and Christopher Bell, they recommended Elliott Smith. For that alone, it has been worth every dime.
              Now, I don’t only listen to the music ever, but search YouTube for recorded concerts (of all of them) Have fun with music. It makes you smile and cry, but mostly smile. Did deep outside your comfort zone (from old lady!)

            • salin

              <3 Greatly appreciate this advice.

            • ReallyMGM

              Elliot is dark. Give him some time. The others are fine. Early Big Star and Chris Bell is very pretty rock.

            • salin

              Thank you . <3

        • ReallyMGM

          I’m going to ask for one of my holiday gifts to be a tour of our city’s most famous working studio. Hopefully it will be a light day and I can see the vintage equipment, the famous CEO, and the crazy engineers. Take them lunch.

    • aquaclara

      Love the B52s. I remember many parties with this in the background.

  • Hat test.

    • TexasBroad

      Falalalala….

    • Juicer77

      Noice!

  • Susan B.

    OK. OK. OK, the dinosaur skull thing? *If* I stop laughing. *If* the tears stop rolling down my face. Maybe. Maybe then I will read today’s article. OK, I gotta go to the ladies’ room and wash my face off. (Did I read that headline right? “Scientologist . . . hot dinosaur skull . . . Nicolas Cage.” Is that possible?????) I’m not taking any chances. I’ll be back tomorrow. Good night all.

    • salin

      Impose that thought – on his movie with John Travolta: Face Off. Oh the hilarious imagery to be conjured up. Goodnight, Susan B. sleep well, and thanks for sharing the laughter.

  • Intergalactic Walrus

    Video of a clam School. The tuition is almost $12,000 a year.
    https://youtu.be/ueM77u5UVd8

    • Intergalactic Walrus

      Testimonials for The Whitworth School.

      https://youtu.be/tcRSyhdsmq0

      • jazzlover

        Oy. How are schools like this getting accredited? The spot where the parents were talking about their kid all of a sudden getting excited about school was truly mind-boggling.

        • Intergalactic Walrus

          Yeah, and now they are accepting applications for a new pre-school too.

      • madame duran

        – I wonder if the “elite private” school mentioned by one of the parents is one of the Delphi Academies…or if kids are immediately recruited into the Sea Org since higher education is generally frowned on (Whitworth only goes up to grade 8).
        – Every other school was utter crap…except for the Whitworth school that uses Applied Scholastic. I have never come across ANY student who didn’t feel tired, bored, restless, or sad at some point during the school year. It’s not necessarily a sign that the kids aren’t learning or thriving. It’s a part of life having ups and downs. Only Scientology boasts of having kids that are always happy, well-behaved with zero problems.

        • Intergalactic Walrus

          I immediately thought of Delphi too and I kept anxiously waiting for her to say the name of the school she was talking about. I thought that “The Golden Snitch” was hilarious since Tony always refers to the CO$’s “snitching culture”.

    • madame duran

      What I noticed:
      – little adult supervision
      – no mention of Ethics (heh!)

  • Off topic. Bought a few things from Amazon recently and got this email (short version):

    “Congrats!
    Because of your recent purchase from Amazon dot com, you are receiving a promotion code
    redeemable for a free digital HD copy of Kung Fu Panda. The code will cover the full cost of this item.”

    I didn’t even realize I needed Kung Fu Panda in my life. I still don’t. Thanks? Kind of funny.

    • jazzlover

      Somebody’s watching you? Using Google Chrome, perhaps? I love how these browsers know my music preferences, for instances. I could go to any site, and ads for music I like show up with a handy-dandy link to Amazon 🙂

      • I know what you mean, but nah, this is totally random. They can keep Kung Fu Panda.

        • jazzlover

          This might provide some inspiration for you to have another kid 😉

    • Joy Lover (Ex-CS)

      Oooh, Love the Santa Hat! 😀

    • Phil McKraken

      Love that movie. Yes, I need Kung Fu Panda in my life. But… it’s on TV all the time. I don’t need a digital copy.

      • scottmercer

        Tough crap. You’re getting it anyway. Along with that U2 album you didn’t want.

    • Juicer77

      XD

    • Vaquera

      I received the same email. Totally random.

  • daytoncapri

    To get in the mood for the holidays. The lyrics on display make it so much better. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxVqliZCNw0

  • daytoncapri

    Majorly edited: wrong link originally posted. I meant this one: Again, to get us in the right mood for the season, with the lyrics on display. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxVqliZCNw0

  • Jimmy3

    Santa hats aren’t cool anymore. We can take them off now.

  • Jonathan Cummings

    Another crook that happens to be a Scientologist. I cannot say I am surprised considering the head of the fake church is a psychopath who beats his own staff and puts people in the hole for kicks! Well, at least Chait must be at peace knowing no prison can possibly hold a being that can control MEST. Watch, I bet he will be to shy to show us his powers and escape from prison. Scientology=Bullshit

  • Nick Cage and Lisa Marie Presley, interviewed by Tony Ortega. Dear Santa, pretty please.

    • TexasBroad

      I hope you are on Santa’s “good” list because that’s a great request.
      I imagine Kung Fu Panda is just a consolation prize.

    • Jimmy3

      GET IN THE CAGE

  • Jimmy3
    • Frodis73

      LMFAO! Vagina steamer?? This guy is great.

    • watch firectly here

      https://youtu.be/Ygp_8jPPMPM

      • Jimmy3

        On my shitty phone and I couldn’t find a working YouTube clip to embed. Thanks.
        ML, ML.

    • TexasBroad

      Hilarious! Also uplifting, because as BAH HUMBUG as I might be this year, Matt Bellassai still makes me look like Martha Stewart.

    • noseinabk

      What a lightweight. That guy only drank 2 servings. 😛
      https://media.giphy.com/media/DDfbNxe9H4tl6/giphy.gif

    • noseinabk

      Btw. You must buy your niece every version of the Wubble. They are fun to play with even if they don’t last long. The helium version lasted longer than the full size but we had the most fun testing the 3 ft one .

      • Jimmy3

        Looking at reviews of it. I’m thinking of buying it for myself now.
        How long do they last?

        • noseinabk

          Supposedly the larger ones last for a long time. We had it outside for 5 minutes before it got a hole in it. We purchased another large one and it burst about an hour after inflation. The smaller version has lasted for 2 weeks now and the helium version lasts for two days before it needed a refill. None of that matters. If she is young enough to enjoy bubbles she will love them.

  • Phil McKraken

    When did Yasser Arafat get into the dinosaur fossil business?

    This may sound like a nitpick, but anyone who thinks that prospective purchasers of dinosaur fossils costing hundreds of thousands of dollars need to be ‘splained to that a mandible is a “lower jaw” is off kilter somehow.

  • boy, as blind items go this one’s a doozy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    pic!

  • Frodis73

    OT-I picked up a $3 bootleg copy of Star Wars today. Not bad for $3! No, I do not feel guilty about it as I will see it at least 2x in the theater and will buy it when it comes out. I have given Lucas (and now Disney) more than enough cash over the years to make up for it.

    • pat k

      Oh I would not have missed the movements I missed going potty

    • Jimmy3

      If you’re gonna bootleg it tho, why not just download it free?

      • Frodis73

        I can never get any of those sites to work no matter what I do. I have had luck with tv shows, but never movies.

  • Lighthouse

    Xmas decorations put up by an organisation whose founder, in some or other OT materials, said he’s the Anti-Christ and Jesus was a paedophile! The hypocrisy knows no bounds.

    • B4you

      but? that’s what they are celebrating..

  • Kay

    But WAIT…there’s MORE !!! If you call within the next 20 minutes, we’ll include an ENTIRE dinosaur skeleton !! Not for 2 million, not for 1.5 million but for only Nine Hundred ninety-nine thousand dollars !! And we will include three free “Dino Dusters” ! Hurry, supplies are limited !

    • Juicer77

      What if I want the Ginsu knife set instead? Can I swap it out? I’ll pay the extra $30 postage. XD

      • Kay

        LOL

  • Michael Leonard Tilse

    Iz Chait is an OSA enforcer. At least he was when I was having a dispute with Bill Goode, my former employer.

    Bill’s business (CAD Pacific, which I helped name) was going underwater in 1992, he couldn’t pay his bills. Or his rent on the office. He was trying to get business, but he couldn’t bring in enough. I continued working on his existing projects two weeks past the first time he couldn’t make my two week payroll. He still wouldn’t pay me.

    I quit and demanded my pay. It is California labor law that he was required to pay me within a very short time. It’s the law. His refusal to pay me (he had the resources to pay me) was breaking the law.

    Because we were Scientologists, I went to my org, AOLA, and got an ethics order against him for my pay. The way I was supposed to. Neither I nor Bill’s business were WISE members.

    Next thing I know, Bill has gotten my judgement against him canceled and the case moved to WISE against my will. He claimed to WISE that he didn’t have to pay me because I wasn’t working for him anymore and wasn’t making him any money. The Glendale WISE Charter Committee ruled he had SIX MONTHS to pay me the back pay. (IIRC $1800) And required that I train his remaining staff on my former job, for free.

    I wrote it up. I wrote it up all the way to RTC Reports Officer. I CSW’d the shit out of it and tabbed it and documented it all. I put it on the correct internal Church of Scientology ‘lines’, protesting the unfair WISE judgement and demanding payment immediately.

    Much time passed with local, Cont and Int levels rejecting my petition and not even reading it. (Evident by the already answered questions and brush-off letters. Finally I had an interview with the International Justice Chief (at the time) at the HGB building in Hollywood. She basically told me to calm down and I would feel better when I got on the OT levels. But didn’t change anything. They were using WISE because it would keep the “Church” out of a civil action. But the Church was directing the outcome. Basically she condescendingly patted me on the head and told me to be a good boy and accept being screwed. Even though I was only asking that written ethics policy be applied to remedy the issue on Church lines because I had nothing to do with WISE.

    So I wrote to RTC and INT and said that I was going to law enforcement and the labor board and have him charged under the labor laws.

    Bang! Within days, Atkinson-Baker did a review WISE review and ordered Bill to pay me immediately. I learned the only way to get results in Scientology was to cause or threaten to cause a flap. But, I was happy, until Bill continued writing shit knowledge reports and badmouthing me to other Scientologists. He was the one who transgressed.

    So, I told INT that he was causing me continued upset and inhibiting my progress up the bridge and he owed me more money because of his behavior. KR, KR, KR.

    More brush off. Back to the threat of going LEO and Legal.

    Enter Iz Chait. Someone at Int made him do an “arbitration” to solve my upset. He was a ‘go-to’ OSA troubleshooter, knew all the ex-GO guys as far as I know.

    The “arbitration” or “mediation” only happened because I threatened legal. Iz Chait was ordered to do it. I got an additional $1000 out of Bill for the crap he put me through. That sort of ended it, but all that crap in the meantime had blown up my marriage. It was so messy that I stayed away from Scientology until 1997. (Making $10 – $11 hour, couldn’t afford much)

    OSA has a whole network of people who are beholden, who have some perks and have money and who do their bidding.

    This just brings all the bullshit back right in my face. Crap.

    • Juicer77

      SMH that you had to go through all that. (hugs)

    • JaxNGold

      “…she told me to calm down..that I would feel better once I got on the OT levels..”
      Wow, what an asinine thing to say.

      What assholes. Sorry you had to deal with that.

  • B4you
    • Juicer77

      The guy’s got the lingo down, but he sounds like he’s high or exhausted. Says he was born into $ci. Wonder if he’s the latest PR spokeshole? (kidding)

      • B4you

        Yeah! “i was born into it” – acceptable truth.
        You just DONT call Stern if you are a $cio. If you are drunk, it is fine!

        • Juicer77

          Unless ordered to call! But he doesn’t have the appropriate uptoneness and confrontness. I call shenanigans!! 😉

      • Intergalactic Walrus

        I bet he was tired. The live part of Howard’s show used to air in the west (he’s calling from Las Vegas) starting at 3am in the morning. The kid was probably up all night waiting to call in and hoping to speak to Howard. JMO.

    • Intergalactic Walrus

      That show is old. 1993 maybe? FWIW, the caller sounds legit to me.

      • Juicer77

        If this show is old, Stern has goes backward in his understanding of what $ci is and how it operates! He seems to know less now, or dances around the subject more gingerly these days.

        • Intergalactic Walrus

          Yeah, Howard is not as opinionated, outrageous or controversial as he used to be. Jackie who is heard here hasn’t been on the show since 2001. Howard refers to being 39 years old. He is now 61. They also mention Jeffrey Tambor having recently been on the Larry King Show taking about being on the Larry Sanders Show (1992-1998).

    • OOkpik

      This was painful to listen to. It probably confirmed all the bad things Scientologists are taught to believe about “wogs”.

  • Dave Reams

    What will happen to Scientology when David Miscavige, fed up with having to do everything himself, throws in the towell and quits?

    • OOkpik

      Party time at the Bunker!

    • Sarah James

      Captain Miscavige Dildo sales on QVC.

      • Michael Leonard Tilse

        With real Hollywood Boulevard Counter-Intention ACTION!

        • Sarah James

          Now that would be his first honest day of work!

    • Kay

      Unfortunately there will most likely be someone who will take his place. He still has high level followers around him, and I’m sure they are smart enough to know that there are big bucks to be made, and power to be had. Sad, but most likely true.

      • Dave Reams

        Anyone over age 15 who isn’t in the hole?

        • Kay

          Yes, he rather eliminated any competition by means of the Hole. Maybe one of those wing-nuts you see in videos with “Squirrel Busters” hats on harassing people will take over…..or hey maybe Tom Cruise will since he is evidently considered to be the number two dude. In working with cult survivors of a fundamentalist religious cult for years, one thing I’ve learned is that cults generally do not disappear or fall apart when a leader leaves….they just go on under someone else who seizes power. Cults that have been around awhile stay around, sometimes with fewer members or with a change in doctrine, but they just won’t die out completely, unfortunately. One can always hope they do, or more specifically that Scientology does. However, they are a VERY tenacious group of people from what I’ve observed.

          • However, Scientology has an ingrained culture (mandated by the founder) that says “Always attack, never defend”. If it comes to a battle over the succession between multiple parties, they will turn this onto each other.

          • Michael Leonard Tilse

            It will be either one of the mafia goons that holds Miscavige’s puppet strings, or it will be one of Miscavige’s ruthless goons he uses to control others.

            My vote is: Warren McShane has been maneuvering for his takeover for about 15 years and will ring the bell just exactly when Miscavige thinks he can trust him about certain very important Miscavige securities.

      • Miscavige is only in power in the first place because he became Hubbard’s gatekeeper, years back. when his guru was in hiding. He used this position to manipulate Hubbard to position himself to seize power upon the old man’s death.

        I suspect that part of the motivation for the ‘hole’ and his micro-management is that Miscavige remembers what he did to Hubbard and is paranoid about someone doing the same to him. Uneasy is the head that wears the crown.

        There are precious few high-level followers with any kind of power base or the organisation to take power in the way that Miscavige did. Remember, even though his coup was essentially unopposed, there was an exodus of members (many to the Independents) while he consolidated power (e.g. by purging the leadership).

        There is still no rational succession process, so I’m hoping civil war would break out between multiple pretenders to the throne – including unrealistic ideologues, greedy opportunists and people whose aims are just surreal (this is the CofS after all).

        If nobody manages to take control of the money the organisation will be dead in the water, haemorrhaging members until the succession is resolved. If the contenders take their dispute to court… well… can you imagine them fighting each other with Hubbard mandated legal tactics?

        Miscavige’s death will fragment Scientology and radically reduce its membership at the very least. It may well kill it outright.

    • Graham

      That’s what a sane person would do. But Miscavige has got too much invested in this, on the deepest psychological level. He can no more let go and throw in the towel than Hitler could. In Miscaviges mind he literally is Scientology, so quitting, retiring or throwing in the towel would be inconceivable for him.

      • Kay

        That’s probably true…however I could see him bailing to some other country at some point and taking his money with him. Then he would still try to run it from there, using LRH’s years at sea, visiting other countries etc. as a legitimate reason for his re-location. However, he might just die of lung cancer before he has to make that decision since he smokes like a chimney.

      • Dave Reams

        I can’t either conceive of Miscavige voluntarily retiring or that anyone could or would toss the dwarf. But IF he got sick or otherwise incapacitated I did wonder how Scientology would “look”. Would there be a gentler/kinder Scientology that devoted its resources to the genuine well being of its members? Would there be a rebirth of the leadership, freed from the hole? Would there be an open aknowledgement of the errors of the past and a committment to creating truly better realities and conditions?

        Or?

  • Lady Squash

    February’s story about Candace was very disturbing. Scientology does torture the mentally ill, all in the name of making them better. It’s a little like bloodletting and leeches–ignorance. But worse, because the science is out there to help them. It might not always work, but better than isolation and saunas. Sorry Candace still isn’t getting proper attention. But hopefully she will.

  • OOkpik

    Furry Friendship.
    F5

    • Michael Leonard Tilse

      Oh MY!

  • TheMirrorThetan

    I’m glad to hear that Barbara Cordova is doing better, even if you cant give any details.
    That horrifying pic of her with a newspaper like a proof of life hostage was burned into my brain.

    • Kay

      Yes, that was chilling.

  • Intergalactic Walrus

    This is the current view of the post-car crash Austin Org:
    (refresh)
    https://www.instagram.com/p/_ncusLNtcg/?tagged=scientology

    • B4you

      so now they are selling lemonade? I did that when i was a kid or as Kim Dotcom says – “if life gone sour, make lemonade”

      • Intergalactic Walrus

        Here is a photo of their usual table set up in front. Unfortunately no lemonade, just LRH lemons.
        It’s odd that they didn’t have the glass replaced already.
        (refresh)
        https://www.instagram.com/p/-5LU8wv0_V/

        • B4you

          we always had a brick through the front window, so we installed a bulletproof window that bounced the brick back to the infidels. Not sure about a car!

        • Dr_Orpheus

          They haven’t finished regging the rubes. In addition to the actual replacement cost, they have to raise an extra $200,000 for the RTC Glass Renewal Study.

          • Intergalactic Walrus

            Why do I have a sneaking suspicion that LRH probably wrote 1000+ pages of instructional materials on the window replacing process, reflecting what has legitimately been described as the single most definitive statement on the subject in the history of mankind 😉

            • Dr_Orpheus

              Even if he didn’t, Miss Cabbage will use this as yet another excuse to extort more money from those downstats who have failed for years to go Ideal.

    • Paul V. Tupointeau

      Seems (just as) legit 😉

  • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

    I would love Tony to tell us his overall favourite story of the year after he finishes his Best Of list (if it wouldn’t be too much like choosing which is your favourite child).

  • Lady Squash

    I just gotta say, that video of Izzy Chait is creepy. He is so clueless, so argumentative, so not listening, so PRETENDING HE CARES. OMG. Give it up Izzy. You Care? Please… You’re deluded. I knew Izzy when I lived in Los Angeles. He was kind of a big shot, so I looked up to him. But now, jeez, poor man.

  • Intergalactic Walrus

    Rizza Islam has been busy on Instagram:

    Oops, he needs to talk to Daddy about Disney…
    PHOTO CAPTION – “This INCLUDES but is not limited to: Walmart (nnooo not my mart), Macy’s, Forever 21, target, Time Warner (Books are much better and they don’t invest money to enslave you in prison), Disney, Levi’s, Coca-Cola, Nike, Frito-Lay, Citibank, McDonald’s (Death with a smile) and MANY MORE INVEST IN OUR DESTRUCTION! Let US QUIT HELPING THEM!”
    https://www.instagram.com/p/_nafVdgvqY/?taken-by=_rizzaislam

    PHOTO CAPTION – “My Brother Malik Bazille who just made his debut in the movie “Creed” and my dynamite brother Johnnie “Hot hands” who will be making his boxing debut in a few weeks! We were in Watts, California giving out toys, food and clothing. No one man can rise above the condition of his people! So remember to ALWAYS GIVE BACK!” https://www.instagram.com/p/_iTvc_Avns/?taken-by=_rizzaislam